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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    Classic back row mate!

    https://en.lichess.org/3yFfBf2d/white#0

    I'm not an amazing player, decided to mess around with openings in this game and it led to a nice triple battery at the end haha. When players completely ignore pawn development, I like going for back row mates.

    Any tips on openings? I want to get better at them.
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    (Original post by The_Big_E)
    Any tips on openings? I want to get better at them.

    Well 1. d4 2. Nc3 hurts my eyes a bit and the computer does say that white's tiny edge from having the move has dissipated after that. In general, in d4 systems, white wants to establish more central control by playing c4 at some point. It's usually preferable to do this before deploying the knight to c3 so that you don't block the pawn (as in this case if you ever wanted to play it you would have to move the knight again, wasting a tempo) Obviously not a hard and fast rule, but yeah. Although the most important thing is to follow general opening principles, there are main lines for a reason. There are often videos around that explain a lot of moves of main lines, telling the purpose behind each move, which helps you to understand the systems a bit more. Personally I like playing d4 because, although there's still loads and loads of theory, the e4 theory is even more daunting, and even some weak players seem to like to know a lot of openings. However both moves are good. 1. Nf3 and 1. c4 are also worth considering. In fast games stuff like 1. b3 and 1. g3 won't hurt.
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    (Original post by The_Big_E)
    Classic back row mate!

    https://en.lichess.org/3yFfBf2d/white#0

    I'm not an amazing player, decided to mess around with openings in this game and it led to a nice triple battery at the end haha. When players completely ignore pawn development, I like going for back row mates.

    Any tips on openings? I want to get better at them.
    13's is good advice, particularly about the Nc3 stuff since playing Nc3, while not a bad move per se, shows no understanding of 1.d4 as an opening.

    Best advice would be not to learn theory or study/try lots of different openings at your level; that definitely won't help (may even hinder your chess development).
    Learn the opening principles and try to play by them. Develop pieces, control the centre, get castled etc. That's it; just get good at that and you'll have a better position from the opening against players all the way up to 1700 tbh (and sometimes higher lol).

    To do this effectively, it's best to only play one or two openings. I only play 1.e4 as white, Sicilian against 1.e5 and going to start playing d5 against 1.d4 since I feel that QGD positions will be essential for my improvement.

    Playing like 3 different openings as white sounds reasonable, but then you realise that black has a move too, so you end up branching into 50 different openings. Best to stick with 1.e4 exclusively for now, that'll already give you enough variety of openings.
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    (Original post by john2054)
    it was a good game because neither of us took it too seriously and we enjoyed it. After all that is what chess should be about after all isn't it? Or at least i did!
    Yup. Sorry not seeing this 'til now: notifications.
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    https://www.chess.com/analysis-board...2+52&flip=true

    Played questionable opening moves after being annoyed by previous game yielding a horrible position here, ended up as a great swindle when my opponent blundered his queen in time pressure..

    But I just want to bring to light a funny tactical variation where I thought I was being super clever to win a pawn but I was actually getting at least a draw from my terrible game (and perhaps a win if my opponent wasn't acutely aware of the position, as I wasn't). 44. ...Qd2 + forks the king and rook obviously, and if the king moves to the back rank I will take the rook again with check, so we have 45. Kf3. But when I take the rook, there's 46. Qxe6, forking my king and rook! Then after 46. ...Kg7 to avoid capture with check again, I will lose my rook and simply be down two pawns. That's how I saw it in my head, so I thought "ha, I won't just take the rook, I'll play 45. Rxc6 and he's bound to just take and let me fork him again". He duly obliged, and the one pawn down situation was not too hard to stomach.

    Sadly, I missed that, had he forked me and taken my rook, I would have played Qf1#.
    Oh well, he had a perpetual in that situation, and perhaps if I had played smart I would have had a draw and not the ridiculous win.
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Well 1. d4 2. Nc3 hurts my eyes a bit and the computer does say that white's tiny edge from having the move has dissipated after that. In general, in d4 systems, white wants to establish more central control by playing c4 at some point. It's usually preferable to do this before deploying the knight to c3 so that you don't block the pawn (as in this case if you ever wanted to play it you would have to move the knight again, wasting a tempo) Obviously not a hard and fast rule, but yeah. Although the most important thing is to follow general opening principles, there are main lines for a reason. There are often videos around that explain a lot of moves of main lines, telling the purpose behind each move, which helps you to understand the systems a bit more. Personally I like playing d4 because, although there's still loads and loads of theory, the e4 theory is even more daunting, and even some weak players seem to like to know a lot of openings. However both moves are good. 1. Nf3 and 1. c4 are also worth considering. In fast games stuff like 1. b3 and 1. g3 won't hurt.
    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    13's is good advice, particularly about the Nc3 stuff since playing Nc3, while not a bad move per se, shows no understanding of 1.d4 as an opening.

    Best advice would be not to learn theory or study/try lots of different openings at your level; that definitely won't help (may even hinder your chess development).
    Learn the opening principles and try to play by them. Develop pieces, control the centre, get castled etc. That's it; just get good at that and you'll have a better position from the opening against players all the way up to 1700 tbh (and sometimes higher lol).

    To do this effectively, it's best to only play one or two openings. I only play 1.e4 as white, Sicilian against 1.e5 and going to start playing d5 against 1.d4 since I feel that QGD positions will be essential for my improvement.

    Playing like 3 different openings as white sounds reasonable, but then you realise that black has a move too, so you end up branching into 50 different openings. Best to stick with 1.e4 exclusively for now, that'll already give you enough variety of openings.
    Thanks for the help, I'll try to watch some videos about opening theory.

    Do you guys think its a good idea to practice against computers like Stockfish, or do they have too different of a playing style when compared to humans.

    Also I will be joining the chess society when I start uni. Looking to get better that way.
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    (Original post by The_Big_E)
    Thanks for the help, I'll try to watch some videos about opening theory.

    Do you guys think its a good idea to practice against computers like Stockfish, or do they have too different of a playing style when compared to humans.

    Also I will be joining the chess society when I start uni. Looking to get better that way.
    I wouldn't say it's particularly helpful. Playing them at max strength is of course a pointless exercise. Their play far exceeds that of the top grandmasters. It surely can't be perfect play, such a thing is unimaginable, but it might as well be. As for playing computers at lower levels, it's not particularly insightful either because they don't make mistakes in the same way humans do. Also they don't get tricked like humans do. I think even some of the best grandmasters can be "tricked", especially in a fast game. (essentially I am referring to playing aggressively and tactically, though not necessarily optimally, to try to make your opponent stumble - Mikhail Tal is a perfect example of this.) It's good to try to play the optimal move all the time, but human intuition can you get you further, at least up to a point; indeed, the "optimal move" can only be found by an engine because it can calculate insane numbers of variations very fast. That's all they are, calculators that are programmed to evaluate based on certain things like king safety, material, space and initiative.

    Chess society will probably help. I think it was around when I joined the chess society in Warwick that I shot up from 1100 Blitz on chess.com to over 1400; something about OTB play I think focuses the mind on the chess more. Especially a long game.
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    Open game: https://lichess.org/2LXMv0a8
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    Spending over 40 minutes on an intense game, paying attention for once, it's a king and pawn endgame, drawish but you're pushing for the win because you don't have doubled pawns, you both have around a minute left (with 10 second increment), the internet uses this time to turn weak as **** and disconnect me from the game. Down go the rating points, great banter BT.
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Spending over 40 minutes on an intense game, paying attention for once, it's a king and pawn endgame, drawish but you're pushing for the win because you don't have doubled pawns, you both have around a minute left (with 10 second increment), the internet uses this time to turn weak as **** and disconnect me from the game. Down go the rating points, great banter BT.
    Ouch. Well I put quite a lot of effort into a 45|45 game earlier only to be beaten by some very fishy play from a 1100, very strategically exploiting the isolated queen's pawn and putting his pieces on the best squares (I reported him).
    So I decided that imma stop playing 45|45 1.Because it's too much effort and time for one game and 2.It's too stressful; it makes the game too important and puts me off chess.

    Playing 30|0 max now; just took out my vengeance on four random guys in a row and now I'm back up to a somewhat respectable rating (although I'm not happy where I am yet). I'd like to maintain 1800 but that'd take some practice.

    I saw the game you played though and I was first like, why did he resign??? Then I realised you lost on time which confused me because of the 10 second increment. But yeah you need to improve your connection somehow; otherwise you could face some even more painful losses.
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    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    Ouch. Well I put quite a lot of effort into a 45|45 game earlier only to be beaten by some very fishy play from a 1100, very strategically exploiting the isolated queen's pawn and putting his pieces on the best squares (I reported him).
    So I decided that imma stop playing 45|45 1.Because it's too much effort and time for one game and 2.It's too stressful; it makes the game too important and puts me off chess.

    Playing 30|0 max now; just took out my vengeance on four random guys in a row and now I'm back up to a somewhat respectable rating (although I'm not happy where I am yet). I'd like to maintain 1800 but that'd take some practice.

    I saw the game you played though and I was first like, why did he resign??? Then I realised you lost on time which confused me because of the 10 second increment. But yeah you need to improve your connection somehow; otherwise you could face some even more painful losses.
    Yeah I've never touched 45|45, sounds like a nightmare. Maybe I should move to 30|0, I find myself still moving too fast and missing simple strong moves from opponents in 15|10, and really it feels like there's only time to check tactics, rather than make a good plan (as you can see in that game I played - well, I made some tactical mistakes, since it got very sharp, and chess is hard lol, but more pertinent was going for a full-scale kingside attack when it was evident that there were too many defenders for it to succeed) I dunno, I think I can do a lot better than my rating. Speaking of which being in the 1600s for rapid is pretty good - should be well into the 90th percentile no?

    You might enjoy this demolition of Bowdler's attack - the computer dislikes my plan of forming a dark square pawn line and putting the bishop on b7 with the knight developing to the less natural square, calling two related moves inaccuracies (fairly minor ones in terms of the evaluation), and I missed the idea of Nh4 with bishop coming to stave off the diagonal battery before my queen could get on c6, but so did my opponent; otherwise a very nasty and quick positional squeeze. The restriction on white's pieces is rather nice. https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710175810
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Yeah I've never touched 45|45, sounds like a nightmare. Maybe I should move to 30|0, I find myself still moving too fast and missing simple strong moves from opponents in 15|10, and really it feels like there's only time to check tactics, rather than make a good plan (as you can see in that game I played - well, I made some tactical mistakes, since it got very sharp, and chess is hard lol, but more pertinent was going for a full-scale kingside attack when it was evident that there were too many defenders for it to succeed) I dunno, I think I can do a lot better than my rating. Speaking of which being in the 1600s for rapid is pretty good - should be well into the 90th percentile no?

    You might enjoy this demolition of Bowdler's attack - the computer dislikes my plan of forming a dark square pawn line and putting the bishop on b7 with the knight developing to the less natural square, calling two related moves inaccuracies (fairly minor ones in terms of the evaluation), and I missed the idea of Nh4 with bishop coming to stave off the diagonal battery before my queen could get on c6, but so did my opponent; otherwise a very nasty and quick positional squeeze. The restriction on white's pieces is rather nice. https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710175810
    Yeah getting used to coming up with plans and strategising does take time, so 30|0 is a good idea to improve in that department.
    1600 seems ok, but when you look at how most 1600s on chess.com play... the 1600 I played most recently butchered his own position after playing c4, kindly demonstrating that he has no idea what he is doing and what his advantages are in the position (although apparently a4 isn't quite the best punishment from my side): https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710123246
    He also sentenced his queen to 5 moves in prison before I rounded her up XD.
    What I like most I that I sacked a piece; I never usually have the guts to do that haha.

    Funny though, although he did not seem to be cheating in this particular game he was banned from the site immediately after it lol.

    Love seeing the silly Bowdler attack get crushed haha. And c4?? what a ridiculous move from your opponent.
    I liked your sequence at the end though, and I liked even more that there was nothing he could do to prevent it .
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Yeah I've never touched 45|45, sounds like a nightmare. Maybe I should move to 30|0, I find myself still moving too fast and missing simple strong moves from opponents in 15|10, and really it feels like there's only time to check tactics, rather than make a good plan (as you can see in that game I played - well, I made some tactical mistakes, since it got very sharp, and chess is hard lol, but more pertinent was going for a full-scale kingside attack when it was evident that there were too many defenders for it to succeed) I dunno, I think I can do a lot better than my rating. Speaking of which being in the 1600s for rapid is pretty good - should be well into the 90th percentile no?

    You might enjoy this demolition of Bowdler's attack - the computer dislikes my plan of forming a dark square pawn line and putting the bishop on b7 with the knight developing to the less natural square, calling two related moves inaccuracies (fairly minor ones in terms of the evaluation), and I missed the idea of Nh4 with bishop coming to stave off the diagonal battery before my queen could get on c6, but so did my opponent; otherwise a very nasty and quick positional squeeze. The restriction on white's pieces is rather nice. https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710175810
    Actually with regards to time control, what time control do they generally play at Warwick? I assume in chess society that play blitz and stuff; for tournaments do they play long time controls?
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    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    Actually with regards to time control, what time control do they generally play at Warwick? I assume in chess society that play blitz and stuff; for tournaments do they play long time controls?
    In chess society I've played quite a few games not timed, which have tended to be quite interesting. When games are timed, yes, they tend to be 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, etc. Short games, essentially. In tournaments I would assume the controls are quite standard (i.e. two hours overall, or 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30|30 for the remainder), but I have not played for the society myself so far, so I cannot say for sure.

    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    Yeah getting used to coming up with plans and strategising does take time, so 30|0 is a good idea to improve in that department.
    1600 seems ok, but when you look at how most 1600s on chess.com play... the 1600 I played most recently butchered his own position after playing c4, kindly demonstrating that he has no idea what he is doing and what his advantages are in the position (although apparently a4 isn't quite the best punishment from my side): https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710123246
    He also sentenced his queen to 5 moves in prison before I rounded her up XD.
    What I like most I that I sacked a piece; I never usually have the guts to do that haha.

    Funny though, although he did not seem to be cheating in this particular game he was banned from the site immediately after it lol.

    Love seeing the silly Bowdler attack get crushed haha. And c4?? what a ridiculous move from your opponent.
    I liked your sequence at the end though, and I liked even more that there was nothing he could do to prevent it .
    I'll probably try it out then. I understand some typical plans in certain structures (e.g. king's indian: black goes for a kingside attack, white tries to dominate the queenside, and opposite-side castled sicilian dragon: white plays g4, goes for a hack attack on the kingside, black similarly attecks on the queenside with some nifty file-opening exchange sacrifices(s) ) but I sometimes find myself at a loss in this regard.

    Yes certain 1600s play badly. But I think often at this kind of level tactical ability decides things a bit more, so some people can get to decent ratings despite strategical impotence..that is to say they still go for "playable" moves strategically speaking, but are regardless "coffeehouse" players for the most part.

    For me, piece saccing is appropriate in the longest or shortest time controls..in the longest, I have time to check the tactics fully; in the shortest, I gain time and initiative, so I don't give a damn if it's unsound. It is certainly very pretty when you can sac soundly (or even technically unsoundly, but in a manner so complex that your opponent is bound to falter - Tal style)

    Speaking of which, my Rxe2 (I think that was the move) was technically leading to a double exchange sac, but I win the queen back so "sac" does not seem the most appropriate word lol. I was particularly proud of the "subtle" move Re7 - had I left the rook on e8, he could have taken a free rook with check after my queen invasion, and I would be losing, but with the rook on e7, protected, I am able to interpose a skewer on the queen and king, win the queen, then ultimately end up with queen and bishop vs rook pair, plus initiative - clearly wining. From Qc7 onwards I played the top, or second top, with little difference, engine choice to the end, which was rather pleasing.
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    https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710906124

    Internet connection strikes again: reach a drawn position against someone in 30|0 - or at least, neither of us is making any progress, it's clear we're just shuffling pieces around. I've used more time all game, checking my moves (even though I usually played the one that came to me immediately anyway lol), so he has a sizeable edge in that regard. Then my internet starts cutting out, and my clock whittling itself down, and this scumbag won't accept a draw, as we keep shuffling pieces around doing absolutely nothing, hoping to win on essentially a technicality (the position is barely dynamic at all - I can understand running down the clock in a drawish but nevertheless somewhat dangerous situation). Finally, with 5 freaking seconds left, I am able to claim a threefold repetition, after clicking draw basically every move, thinking that surely this position had come up twice before already, such was the repetitiveness, only to have it offer a draw, and my opponent decline, again and again and again for no reason but so he could run down my clock, seeing that I was frequently disconnecting. Urgh. I mean the position was so dead that we made countless "excellent" moves in a row, eventually ending up looking fairly competent (though the early parts were reasonably accurate as well, the position being quite quiet): 1 inaccuracy for me, 2 inaccuracies for him in the whole game, with 7 and 6 average centipawn loss respectively.

    Ignoring that though, a frustrating game anyway. A weaker opponent, if ratings are to be believed, but I was unable to break him down. Black enjoyed a slender edge from the opening; I had a vague notion that my control over e5 gave me something, but f6 can always clamp down on that square. It seems I was overly scared to leave my king in the centre early on; my refusal to do so with 12. Nxd2 is not particularly liked by the computer. Conversely, 30. Kf1, trying to bring the king into the game, is indeed a gross oversight, missing 30. Ng6!, a tremendously aesthetic shot showing the knight's superiority in the position and ultimately winning a pawn. In general, I made more "good" moves than I would care to - these tend to be symptomatic of poor planning, I find.

    I apologise for wantonly using this as a sort of chess blog often. I hope this is not too offensive to those who see the thread has new posts but hope for tournament updates or people putting up open game links.

    edit: In hindsight, why on earth put the bishop on g2, especially after the queens come off. It is always biting on a rock, so to speak. This is the key positional weakness during the middlegame I think; my bishop is barely taking part for a while.
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    https://www.chess.com/live/game/1710906124

    Internet connection strikes again: reach a drawn position against someone in 30|0 - or at least, neither of us is making any progress, it's clear we're just shuffling pieces around. I've used more time all game, checking my moves (even though I usually played the one that came to me immediately anyway lol), so he has a sizeable edge in that regard. Then my internet starts cutting out, and my clock whittling itself down, and this scumbag won't accept a draw, as we keep shuffling pieces around doing absolutely nothing, hoping to win on essentially a technicality (the position is barely dynamic at all - I can understand running down the clock in a drawish but nevertheless somewhat dangerous situation). Finally, with 5 freaking seconds left, I am able to claim a threefold repetition, after clicking draw basically every move, thinking that surely this position had come up twice before already, such was the repetitiveness, only to have it offer a draw, and my opponent decline, again and again and again for no reason but so he could run down my clock, seeing that I was frequently disconnecting. Urgh. I mean the position was so dead that we made countless "excellent" moves in a row, eventually ending up looking fairly competent (though the early parts were reasonably accurate as well, the position being quite quiet): 1 inaccuracy for me, 2 inaccuracies for him in the whole game, with 7 and 6 average centipawn loss respectively.

    Ignoring that though, a frustrating game anyway. A weaker opponent, if ratings are to be believed, but I was unable to break him down. Black enjoyed a slender edge from the opening; I had a vague notion that my control over e5 gave me something, but f6 can always clamp down on that square. It seems I was overly scared to leave my king in the centre early on; my refusal to do so with 12. Nxd2 is not particularly liked by the computer. Conversely, 30. Kf1, trying to bring the king into the game, is indeed a gross oversight, missing 30. Ng6!, a tremendously aesthetic shot showing the knight's superiority in the position and ultimately winning a pawn. In general, I made more "good" moves than I would care to - these tend to be symptomatic of poor planning, I find.

    I apologise for wantonly using this as a sort of chess blog often. I hope this is not too offensive to those who see the thread has new posts but hope for tournament updates or people putting up open game links.

    edit: In hindsight, why on earth put the bishop on g2, especially after the queens come off. It is always biting on a rock, so to speak. This is the key positional weakness during the middlegame I think; my bishop is barely taking part for a while.
    Personally, I really enjoy reading your chess updates. You give good insight into your thought process, which is helpful for less-experienced players like me. I should think that others might also benefit from these, so keep them going (if you get the time)!

    I think your opponent was very unsportsmanlike and should definitely have accepted the draw. However, this being online chess and playing against complete strangers who you will probably never meet in your life, the system kind of leans towards players being more selfish than sportsmanlike. But anyway, I still think you played a good game (but that's coming from a relatively low-experience player, so...).

    But yeah, reading these updates has been insightful for me and probably others, so keep them up!
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    In chess society I've played quite a few games not timed, which have tended to be quite interesting. When games are timed, yes, they tend to be 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, etc. Short games, essentially. In tournaments I would assume the controls are quite standard (i.e. two hours overall, or 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30|30 for the remainder), but I have not played for the society myself so far, so I cannot say for sure.



    I'll probably try it out then. I understand some typical plans in certain structures (e.g. king's indian: black goes for a kingside attack, white tries to dominate the queenside, and opposite-side castled sicilian dragon: white plays g4, goes for a hack attack on the kingside, black similarly attecks on the queenside with some nifty file-opening exchange sacrifices(s) ) but I sometimes find myself at a loss in this regard.

    Yes certain 1600s play badly. But I think often at this kind of level tactical ability decides things a bit more, so some people can get to decent ratings despite strategical impotence..that is to say they still go for "playable" moves strategically speaking, but are regardless "coffeehouse" players for the most part.

    For me, piece saccing is appropriate in the longest or shortest time controls..in the longest, I have time to check the tactics fully; in the shortest, I gain time and initiative, so I don't give a damn if it's unsound. It is certainly very pretty when you can sac soundly (or even technically unsoundly, but in a manner so complex that your opponent is bound to falter - Tal style)

    Speaking of which, my Rxe2 (I think that was the move) was technically leading to a double exchange sac, but I win the queen back so "sac" does not seem the most appropriate word lol. I was particularly proud of the "subtle" move Re7 - had I left the rook on e8, he could have taken a free rook with check after my queen invasion, and I would be losing, but with the rook on e7, protected, I am able to interpose a skewer on the queen and king, win the queen, then ultimately end up with queen and bishop vs rook pair, plus initiative - clearly wining. From Qc7 onwards I played the top, or second top, with little difference, engine choice to the end, which was rather pleasing.
    Untimed games are nice in that there's no pressure; I think I've only played OTB untimed games less than 10 times in my life and even when there was time control I never bothered to find out what it was and couldn't tell from the (analogue) clocks XD. So I've basically never played timed chess OTB.
    Is it hard to get into a team for Warwick (any division)?

    Thing is, if you get good at strategy (still wouldn't call myself strategically strong), you can probably crush 1600s in your sleep, since they won't have any tactical opportunities and certainly won't be able to create any themselves. Their strategy is generally so unsound that tactical opportunities are easy to create with only basic strategic ideas.

    I'm generally not brave enough to sac pieces; the only reason I did in my game was that I could win a bishop immediately (with a fork) afterwards so I kept this as insurance. Didn't need it though; actually opted to waste time trapping his queen instead of going straight for his king (I'm really not good at taking risks lol).
    I like Tal's style though, saccing pieces unsoundly but in reality it is virtually impossible for his opponent to defend accurately enough. Makes for an extremely entertaining game every time .

    Yeah Re7 was a nice subtle move; I love how it was all forced though with his pieces all curled up into one big ball.
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    In hindsight, why on earth put the bishop on g2, especially after the queens come off. It is always biting on a rock, so to speak. This is the key positional weakness during the middlegame I think; my bishop is barely taking part for a while.
    I played through your game and I was just about to point this out lol.

    I think the main problem is not going for e4 at the start. d4, c4 Nc3 gives white a nice pawn centre but the whole idea is to get greedy and get in e4 too; only reason why white doesn't usually do this is that black goes out of his way to stop it. In this case black played so badly in the opening that e4 was easy to play, punishing black for his pawn pushing (and not playing Nf6 which is played in order to stop e4).

    As for the declining of the draw I think after you offer a draw a couple of times and they decline it; they generally will do anything not to draw no matter how drawn the position is - either out of pride or simply wanting to run your clock down.
    Luckily you did get your threefold in the end .
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    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    I played through your game and I was just about to point this out lol.

    I think the main problem is not going for e4 at the start. d4, c4 Nc3 gives white a nice pawn centre but the whole idea is to get greedy and get in e4 too; only reason why white doesn't usually do this is that black goes out of his way to stop it. In this case black played so badly in the opening that e4 was easy to play, punishing black for his pawn pushing (and not playing Nf6 which is played in order to stop e4).

    As for the declining of the draw I think after you offer a draw a couple of times and they decline it; they generally will do anything not to draw no matter how drawn the position is - either out of pride or simply wanting to run your clock down.
    Luckily you did get your threefold in the end .
    Indeed, 5. e4 is the engine move, with well over half a pawn advantage for white. I think the problem comes of a lack of really thinking about the opening. Playing d4 so often, I should have some understanding of the semi-slav, but I really don't. I think I'm a bit more versed in the Queen's Gambit, either variation, the normal slav, the King's Indian, the Grunfeld, etc. I even thought about 5. e4 but it didn't look like anything I'd seen before, like I had this dogmatic idea in my head "well, you don't play e4 in this system, you play e3". But I suppose the reason is that black doesn't sit around twiddling his thumbs with some bull like h6 but clamps down on the e4 square with Nf6. I always play e4 in King's Indian structures for instance and I recognise its strength. At least I know what to do if ever faced with this ridiculous opening again. A problem, I think, in regards to this is how many traps and tricks there are in openings. I've been caught twice (fool me twice, shame on me...) in queen's gambit accepted lines where the rook skewers the queen and bishop after we've opened everything up on the queenside, I've been rekt by the fried liver on some rare occasions when I've played black in e4-e5, having forgotten the theory...I'm just wary of being aggressive in openings lol.

    Yeah, I can see it from their point of view. Especially since they may have rightly felt that they'd had an edge all game, and with the pretty sizeable rating disparity had lots of rating points for incentive. I dunno, in a blitz game, I wouldn't care so much. But the longer the time control gets, the more class I expect. One could argue that I had used a lot more time up to that point than him as well, and that he had a right to exploit that.

    (Original post by IrrationalRoot)
    Untimed games are nice in that there's no pressure; I think I've only played OTB untimed games less than 10 times in my life and even when there was time control I never bothered to find out what it was and couldn't tell from the (analogue) clocks XD. So I've basically never played timed chess OTB.
    Is it hard to get into a team for Warwick (any division)?

    Thing is, if you get good at strategy (still wouldn't call myself strategically strong), you can probably crush 1600s in your sleep, since they won't have any tactical opportunities and certainly won't be able to create any themselves. Their strategy is generally so unsound that tactical opportunities are easy to create with only basic strategic ideas.

    I'm generally not brave enough to sac pieces; the only reason I did in my game was that I could win a bishop immediately (with a fork) afterwards so I kept this as insurance. Didn't need it though; actually opted to waste time trapping his queen instead of going straight for his king (I'm really not good at taking risks lol).
    I like Tal's style though, saccing pieces unsoundly but in reality it is virtually impossible for his opponent to defend accurately enough. Makes for an extremely entertaining game every time .

    Yeah Re7 was a nice subtle move; I love how it was all forced though with his pieces all curled up into one big ball.
    The volume of words in my posts is growing at an alarming rate lol. Anyhow, I'm not sure it's that hard. The captain of the D team (who is now president) I beat very quickly in blitz, I think it was the second game I ever played at the club. I've played other guys who are on the lower teams, I think, and I'd say they tend to be slightlybetter than me, though I dunno if they play for D or C (A and B team players just destroy you lol). I was basically asked if I wanted to join a team and I pretty much gave a "maybe" and not much more came of it; I don't think they're too fussy. I get the sense that if you want to play competitive chess, and you have some degree of competency - and obviously, you've a lot more than that - they can get it done. I missed a lot of sessions and became somewhat estranged from the club in favour of pool, which ran sessions at the same time, which might explain why there wasn't any follow-up on my saying I was interested.

    It's often the case that strategy is unsound, but in certain structures, everyone knows the plan. For instance if you end up in a typical Sicilian Dragon (I am aware that there are less dynamic ones, but we're talking the main main lines here), a 1600 knows that they can just play g4, h4, h5 smash open the kingside, and kill you (problem is, of course, that you're trying to kill them too) If you play the King's Indian everyone and their dog knows that black prepares for an f5 break supported by a rook and an ensuing bishop pair-supported kingside storm while white tries to dominate the queenside. If you play an Open Sicilian, we all know that white takes aim at the weak d5 square, hoping to plant a knight there. At least, most of the time players seem to go for these key strategical motifs against me.

    Oh yeah a tactical "sac" which regains material (or checkmates) is a no brainer. Positional sacs are the ones that are hard to make I guess. Except for those juicy exchange sacs for black against the Queenside castled position in the Sicilian to open the b file, love making those. (though I suppose this is half positional, half tactical)

    (Original post by K-Man_PhysCheM)
    Personally, I really enjoy reading your chess updates. You give good insight into your thought process, which is helpful for less-experienced players like me. I should think that others might also benefit from these, so keep them going (if you get the time)!

    I think your opponent was very unsportsmanlike and should definitely have accepted the draw. However, this being online chess and playing against complete strangers who you will probably never meet in your life, the system kind of leans towards players being more selfish than sportsmanlike. But anyway, I still think you played a good game (but that's coming from a relatively low-experience player, so...).

    But yeah, reading these updates has been insightful for me and probably others, so keep them up!
    Ah that's nice to hear, cheers. I enjoy it, chess has been a good thing to keep me feeling driven/like I'm doing something in the absence of jobs living in the middle of nowhere, and the absence of study.

    Yeah as I said before in this post I get it from his position. Certainly it wasn't the most inaccurate game ever, I had 5 average centipawn loss lol. But it was more a matter of "playable" moves as opposed to good moves. Hence a draw occurs. Certainly I had to keep on my toes to control the squares in the early portions of the endgame; it's easier to mess up stuff like that than you might think (hence my constantly baiting my opponent to push his pawn for a check and relinquish dark square control - computer checked this and this one little pawn move indeed shoots the evaluation up to over +2 for me, sadly my opponent was quite smart).
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Indeed, 5. e4 is the engine move, with well over half a pawn advantage for white. I think the problem comes of a lack of really thinking about the opening. Playing d4 so often, I should have some understanding of the semi-slav, but I really don't. I think I'm a bit more versed in the Queen's Gambit, either variation, the normal slav, the King's Indian, the Grunfeld, etc. I even thought about 5. e4 but it didn't look like anything I'd seen before, like I had this dogmatic idea in my head "well, you don't play e4 in this system, you play e3". But I suppose the reason is that black doesn't sit around twiddling his thumbs with some bull like h6 but clamps down on the e4 square with Nf6. I always play e4 in King's Indian structures for instance and I recognise its strength. At least I know what to do if ever faced with this ridiculous opening again. A problem, I think, in regards to this is how many traps and tricks there are in openings. I've been caught twice (fool me twice, shame on me...) in queen's gambit accepted lines where the rook skewers the queen and bishop after we've opened everything up on the queenside, I've been rekt by the fried liver on some rare occasions when I've played black in e4-e5, having forgotten the theory...I'm just wary of being aggressive in openings lol.

    Yeah, I can see it from their point of view. Especially since they may have rightly felt that they'd had an edge all game, and with the pretty sizeable rating disparity had lots of rating points for incentive. I dunno, in a blitz game, I wouldn't care so much. But the longer the time control gets, the more class I expect. One could argue that I had used a lot more time up to that point than him as well, and that he had a right to exploit that.



    The volume of words in my posts is growing at an alarming rate lol. Anyhow, I'm not sure it's that hard. The captain of the D team (who is now president) I beat very quickly in blitz, I think it was the second game I ever played at the club. I've played other guys who are on the lower teams, I think, and I'd say they tend to be slightlybetter than me, though I dunno if they play for D or C (A and B team players just destroy you lol). I was basically asked if I wanted to join a team and I pretty much gave a "maybe" and not much more came of it; I don't think they're too fussy. I get the sense that if you want to play competitive chess, and you have some degree of competency - and obviously, you've a lot more than that - they can get it done. I missed a lot of sessions and became somewhat estranged from the club in favour of pool, which ran sessions at the same time, which might explain why there wasn't any follow-up on my saying I was interested.

    It's often the case that strategy is unsound, but in certain structures, everyone knows the plan. For instance if you end up in a typical Sicilian Dragon (I am aware that there are less dynamic ones, but we're talking the main main lines here), a 1600 knows that they can just play g4, h4, h5 smash open the kingside, and kill you (problem is, of course, that you're trying to kill them too) If you play the King's Indian everyone and their dog knows that black prepares for an f5 break supported by a rook and an ensuing bishop pair-supported kingside storm while white tries to dominate the queenside. If you play an Open Sicilian, we all know that white takes aim at the weak d5 square, hoping to plant a knight there. At least, most of the time players seem to go for these key strategical motifs against me.

    Oh yeah a tactical "sac" which regains material (or checkmates) is a no brainer. Positional sacs are the ones that are hard to make I guess. Except for those juicy exchange sacs for black against the Queenside castled position in the Sicilian to open the b file, love making those. (though I suppose this is half positional, half tactical)



    Ah that's nice to hear, cheers. I enjoy it, chess has been a good thing to keep me feeling driven/like I'm doing something in the absence of jobs living in the middle of nowhere, and the absence of study.

    Yeah as I said before in this post I get it from his position. Certainly it wasn't the most inaccurate game ever, I had 5 average centipawn loss lol. But it was more a matter of "playable" moves as opposed to good moves. Hence a draw occurs. Certainly I had to keep on my toes to control the squares in the early portions of the endgame; it's easier to mess up stuff like that than you might think (hence my constantly baiting my opponent to push his pawn for a check and relinquish dark square control - computer checked this and this one little pawn move indeed shoots the evaluation up to over +2 for me, sadly my opponent was quite smart).
    Wow

    TL;DR
 
 
 
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